Who is Amaury Sanit?
The newest Yankee is a
31-year-old career minor league reliever who was most recently with AAA
Scranton/Wilkes Barre. A Cuban emigrant,
he is also the same pitcher that was suspended for 50 games in 2010 after
testing positive for a banned performance enhancing drug. Infielder Ramiro Pena was sent down to make room for Sanit. Pitcher Jess
Todd, recently signed after being cut by the Cleveland Indians, was
released to clear space on the 40-man roster for Sanit.
Despite giving up three runs
in 4 2/3 innings of work tonight, Sanit provided length after Ivan Nova
imploded (giving up 4 runs in the 2nd and 2 more in the 4th). So much for the quality Nova starts…
The Yankees have a tough
stretch coming up as they face the Boston Red Sox and then the Tampa Bay
Rays. For the three-game series against
the Sox this weekend, I have made yet another wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants. At stake is a bottle of wine. If the Sox win, I will give Julia a bottle of
a Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon blend (aptly named Cabiovese) from a fantastic
boutique winery in Northern California’s Livermore Valley, Rodrigue Molyneaux
Winery (www.rmwinery.com). The wine, which is 75% Sangiovese and 25%
Cabernet, was aged for 12 months in American Oak. The blend of the Sangiovese’s high acidity
with the Cabernet’s tannin structure makes for an incredibly smooth wine. Of course, the Sox won’t win so I’ll just
drink the Cabiovese myself! If I win,
then Julia has to pick a wine from the New England region to send to me. Somehow, I just don’t think that’s going to
compare with Livermore Valley! 😉
As a Lakers fan, it was sad
to see the season come to an abrupt end at the hands of a sweep by the Dallas
Mavericks. It’s ironic that the Lakers
were defeated by Dallas given that I was a Mavericks fan for the 14 years I
lived in the city, but that was long ago.
When I was a Mavericks fan, Rolando
Blackman was the star and Roy
Tarpley was the problem child. It
was also pre-Mark Cuban. My biggest disappointment with the Lakers
loss is that Phil Jackson deserved a
better farewell. Still, he leaves as
perhaps the premier coach in NBA history.
I wish the Zen Master the very best for whatever he decides to do next. I’d like to see Phil stay connected with the
NBA so a TV role would be fantastic unless he aspires to be an exec with a
team. It would be great for us as fans
to experience the wit and wisdom of the legendary coach.
My other sports team, the
NHL’s San Jose Sharks, is also having its own set of problems. Once possessing a commanding 3-0 series lead
against the storied Detroit Red Wings, the Sharks face a do-or-die situation
tonight in Game 7. The Sharks are the
more talented team, but time will tell if talent will prevail or if it will be
the gut, guile and determination of a championship Detroit squad.
I’d mention the Minnesota
Vikings to get a full representation for all of my teams, but of course with
the lockout, QB Christian Ponder is
probably sitting by the pool, sipping Mojitos…
Lastly, I will be participating
in the 100th running of the Bay to Breakers 12K Run in San Francisco
on Sunday. Being San Francisco, you see
about everything which is probably more than you ever wanted to, but it is
still a fun experience. From the
Embarcadero to the Pacific Ocean, the day is a thrill. There’s nothing like getting slapped by
hurled pancakes at the starting line, and of course, enduring the drive up the
Hayes Street Hill. But it’s always a
thrill to reach Golden Gate Park. This
will be my fourth time with the run, and the first in an odd year.
So, was the injury to Eric Chavez unfortunate or
inevitable? Sadly, it’s a little of both…
Kim Klement/US Presswire
I enjoyed watching Chavez
rebound his career with the Yankees, but I was always concerned that he was
just a play away from the DL. That time
finally reared its ugly head when Chavez fractured his foot. Hopefully, best case scenario proves out…Chavez
wears the protective boot for two weeks and is ready to begin rehabilitation
play soon over. On the bright side, the
injury is unrelated to past injuries so this should not be a recurring theme
I was surprised that the
Yankees brought up Ramiro Pena
instead of Jorge Vazquez. I had really thought that Vazquez would get
the first call if/when Chavez went down.
I realize that he isn’t on the 40-man roster, there was talk of the
Yankees making a move with minor league infielder Kevin Russo. The Yanks did
DFA Russo today, but they signed Cleveland Indians cast-off Jess Todd, a reliever, to take his
place on the 40-man roster. I don’t know
much about Todd but he has gotten off to a poor start with the AAA Columbus
Clippers. He does have strikeout
potential so I am sure that his youth (he is only 25) and pedigree (a former
second round draft pick for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007) were factors that
led to the Yanks decision to take a bite.
Unfortunately, the move
keeps Vazquez at AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
All he has done this year is hit (9 homers, 27 RBI’s, .300 BA). I am sure that he’s wondering what it takes
to crack the bigs. At age 29, he’s not
getting any younger.
After losing the four game
series to the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees look to rebound tonight in Arlington,
Texas against the Rangers. I’ve been
concerned about the Yankees reliance on the home run and lack of timely
hits. So far, the pitching had been
compensating for the hitting deficiencies but it’s impossible to ask the
pitchers to continually walk a line with no margin for error.
Congratulations to the Los
Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier as he
extended his hitting streak to 30 games tonight against the New York Mets. Ethier is now just one game from tying the
franchise mark which was set by Willie
Davis in 1969. I like Ethier’s
approach which was typified by his pre-game comment that he is “not losing a
wink of sleep about it”. Ethier has been
one of my favorite Dodgers on a team managed by perhaps my all-time favorite
living ballplayer so it’s a great situation all the way around. I continue to cheer for Ethier with each hit.
I am a fan of the Los
Angeles Lakers but I don’t like their current situation…down 2 games to zero
and in Dallas tonight to play Game 3.
Plus, Ron Artest has been
suspended for one game so that’s one less bullet in the gun. The Lakers will be hard pressed to win in
Dallas. It looks like destiny is removing
the barriers for Team LeBron. I know,
Chicago and Dallas are formidable opponents, but I really thought that either
the Lakers or the Boston Celtics would be able to stop the Miami Heat. So far, the Celtics have done nothing against
the Heat and the Lakers have put themselves in a life support situation.
My friend Julia, of Julia’s Rants, attended a charity event
this week that featured the release of two new wines…Clay Buchholz ChardonClay and Jon
Lester CabernAce. Clay’s 2009
Chardonnay benefits Jimmy’s Fund, while Jon’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon benefits
the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Count me in as I’ve bought both wines.
More info can be found at charitywines.com.
Tied after two games…
With a wager on the line against Julia of Julia’s Rants, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are tied after two games of a four games series. The Yankees won on Saturday behind a very solid and new proud papa CC Sabathia, 5-2. The win means the teams are tied at 1 game apiece and totat runs at 8. So, the wager is down to what happens in the next two games.
Sipkin/NY Daily News
Saturday didn’t start very good when I heard news that Alex Rodriguez had been scratched due to an injury. When I heard that he had been hit during batting practice, my first thought was that I hoped it wasn’t struggling Lance Berkman who hit the ball that struck A-Rod in the ankle. Of course, and unfortunately, it was. I have been pulling for the former Astros star to show the New York fans what Houston knew about him and didn’t want to see his name attached to the loss of A-Rod. But I was pleased with the comments that Lance made which showed he was apologetic and still had a sense of humor at the same time. All Lance needs to do is get a significant hit against the Red Sox, and he’ll turn those boos to cheers. I am confident that he can do it…
A-Rod was taken for x-rays after the incident, but the results were negative so he is now in the dreaded ‘day to day’ category. He may not return until after the Boston series is over.
On the plus side, A-Rod’s replacement, Ramiro Pena, delivered 2 RBI’s in his absence.
Two days after the birth of Carter Charles Sabathia, his dad went 8 innings to pick up his 14th win of the season (to match Tampa’s David Price). Despite allowing Boston to take an early 2-0 lead, he settled in and only gave up 6 hits and no further runs the rest of the way. He struck out 4 batters but only one of them was not named David Ortiz. It was CC’s 150th career victory, so congratulations to CC for the birth of the latest CC as well as the milestone win!
Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th to pick up his 23rd save, while lowering his ERA to a microscopic 0.89. Amazing, but then again, that’s just Mo…
With the win, the Yankees were able to increase their lead in the AL East to 1 ½ games over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are finding out what the Yankees recently did…there’s a very good team north of the border. The Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Rays, 17-11, behind two home runs by rookie J.P. Arencibia, who was making his major league debut. The Jays hit a total of 8 home runs in the game. With as much trouble as the Yankees had with Rays pitching, the Jays clearly didn’t encounter the same difficulty.
Nathan Denette/Canadian Press
So, the Yankees are saying that Friday night’s pitcher and loser, Javier Vazquez, is dealing with a “dead arm”. So, of course, that begs the question, ‘is A.J. Burnett dealing with a dead brain?’. In his last start, against the Blue Jays on Monday, A.J. melted down during the 5th inning of the game as the Jays pounded out 7 hits off Burnett, including a monster home run by Edwin Encarnacion, to convert a 2-1 deficit to an 8-2 lead in a game the Yankees ultimately lost, 8-6. Let’s hope that he fares better on Sunday night against Josh Beckett and the Red Sox…
Sipken/NY Daily News
Hey Julia, Game On, my friend!…
It has been a very busy week for the almighty¹ Yankees…
¹Word ‘almighty’ is for the exclusive benefit of my friend Julia! 😉
The blockbuster trade of the Winter Meetings saw the arrival of Curtis Granderson as the newest centerfielder for the New York Yankees.
The price tag was very high and the Yankees lost a great opportunity to market “Ajax” but who knows if Austin Jackson will ever be the player that Grandy is today. Maybe he’ll be better but it probably won’t happen for several years. The Yankees have a window of opportunity right now and the heart of the team is not getting any younger. It is critical for the Yanks to infuse young, quality talent into the lineup now, not later. Grandy will be 29 on Opening Day and he can be expected to hold his position through the retirement of Derek Jeter and beyond.
I am looking forward to watching Grandy in the Bronx. One of my personal favorites in the ‘Wow’ factor (off the field exploits aside) was Darryl Strawberry. I am hopeful that Grandy will bring that level of excitement and energy to the team and that he’ll quickly become a fan favorite.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder was selected first in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft by the Washington Nationals and was immediately dealt to the Yankees as compensation for the trade that sent reliever Brian Bruney to the Nats.
Hoffmann, a former hockey player, will compete for the 25th spot on the Yankees roster. Since Hoffmann will have to be offered back to the Dodgers if he fails to stick on the Yankees major league roster, I fully expect the Yankees to move either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner if Hoffmann shows anything during spring training. You can make an argument for why the Yanks should keep either Cabrera or Gardner but Cabrera clearly has the highest trade value.
Hoffmann, 25, made his major league debut with the Dodgers on May 22nd. Two days later, he got his first major league hit, a two-run bomb off Matt Palmer and the Angels in Anaheim. Hopefully, it is a great sign of things to come…
Okay, it’s not really an arrival. However, it is a big deal that Andy and the team agreed on a one year deal so quickly after Andy announced his decision to play at least another year. We didn’t need another Brett Favre-like situation this off-season. Welcome back, Andy!
This could be called the ‘You’ll get your ring when we come to a city near you’ category…
Brian Bruney, to the Washington Nationals for the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft (Jamie Hoffmann).
Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to the Detroit Tigers, and Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Detroit’s Curtis Granderson.
Johnny Damon, unsigned. Talks with the Yanks have continued but the team is unwilling to go beyond two years. At this stage of his career, Damon has to get all he can get since this may be his last major league contract. I want Damon back, however, I am supportive of the team’s position.
Hideki Matsui, unsigned. Almost certain not to return unless the Yankees fail to sign Damon, Godzilla would be a good fit in the Bay Area if the Oakland A’s could unload Jack Cust.
Jose Molina, unsigned. I am ready for Francisco Cervelli to back up Jorge Posada, with Jesus Montero possibly in the mix. The Yankees do need to reduce their payroll and this is an area that they can still get value at a cheaper price.
Xavier Nady, unsigned. Personally, I would try to bring the X-Man back to the Bronx. But I recognize that he is not in the team’s plans, and it is virtually certain that he’ll sign elsewhere (perhaps with the Braves).
Jerry Hairston, Jr. A good complimentary player but his role can be easily replaced by Ramiro Pena.
The Yankees are not expected to tender a contract to pitcher Chien-Ming Wang so he’ll become a free agent later today (midnight ET). It’s unfortunate that it has come to this with the former 19-game winner. He was perhaps the Yankees most valuable starting pitcher until that fateful day running the bases in Houston several years ago. I suspect that he’ll be a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year so some team is going to get lucky by taking a chance on Wang. Hopefully, the Yankees will find a way to bring him back but for now, he’ll be up for grabs…
Former Yankee, and the Opening Day starting third baseman, Cody Ransom has been invited to camp with the Philadelphia Phillies as a non-roster player.
* * *
As a California resident, this joke by Conan O’Brien bears repeating since it is oh, so true!
‘Los Angeles was hit by a massive storm that caused power outages and freeway closures. Meteorologists predict that the storm will head east next week where it will be known as rain.’
…or something like that! Nevertheless, it is an accurate description of life in California!
Well, after the Yankees’ 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in their final Grapefruit League road game, I owe an apology to Joba Chamberlain for the wiffle ball comment that I made in my last blog.
Joba sparkled yesterday, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks. He struck out 6. But the greater stat, in my perspective, was the increased velocity on his pitches (speeds of up to 96 mph).
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
Both Joba and Andy Pettitte have shown that the back end of the rotation is just fine.
I have seen reports that A.J. Burnett has proven to be a good mentor for Joba this spring. I am glad to see A.J. take the leadership responsibility, and I think he has much wisdom to offer based on his own experiences as he has learned to become a true pitcher instead of just a hard thrower.
Joba is in Lancaster County, Nebraska today for his arraignment on last fall’s drunken-driving charge. One thing’s for sure, Joba will hold only himself accountable and he can be depended upon to make the best of a bad situation. He’s a ‘stand up’ guy, and that’s certainly one quality that has earned my respect.
THE NEW YANKEE STADIUM WON’T BE “OFFICIAL” UNTIL…
Until these familiar words flow through the loudspeakers, the new Yankee Stadium cannot be truly christened…
“Good evening…ladies and gentlemen…and welcome…to Yankee Stadium”
Unfortunately, long-time Yankees public-address announcer Bob Sheppard, who is in his late 90’s, will miss the exhibition games with the Chicago Cubs on April 3rd and 4th, and Opening Day on April 16th against the Cleveland Indians.
He is still recovering from the bronchial infection that sidelined him for most of last season. His wife indicated that he does not currently have the necessary stamina and was advised against working by his physician. She stated that a warmer mid-season return was more likely. Until then, Paul Olden will handle the duties.
It is hard to believe that Sheppard has been the public-address announcer since 1951. His first game was April 17, 1951. The Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-0, that day. The combined lineups featured seven Hall of Famers: Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Ted Williams, and Lou Boudreau. It was also Mickey’s first game (he went 1-for-4), and the beginning of the Yankee Clipper’s final season.
Here’s hoping for a full recovery and a triumphant return to the new Stadium by Mr. Sheppard…
ODDS & ENDS…
Jonathan Albaladejo has made the final Yankees roster, which means that Brett Tomko, Alfredo Aceves, and Dan Giese are headed for Scranton. Tomko was very disappointed as he felt that he had pitched well enough to make the roster. True, but Joe Girardi obviously feels that the club is stronger with Albaladejo.
The last roster decision is the infield utility role, which has become a competitive battle between Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena. Unless the Yankees decide to go outside of the organization for a last-minute choice, I fully expect Pena to be announced as the victor. But the #90 jersey has to go! Just kidding. I know that he’ll be re-assigned a more “reasonable” number if he makes the roster.
I was glad to see that former Yankee Nick Green has won Boston’s infield utility role (well, at least until Julio Lugo returns).
I was surprised by the Detroit Tigers decision to release Gary Sheffield. The Phillies were almost immediately mentioned as a possible destination, but Sheffield is better suited for the American League as a designated hitter. The Rays have also been mentioned. Considering that his next home run will be number 500, there should be some good early season drama. That’s okay, but can we put Sheffield on mute?…
Warning: I am getting ready to make some non-baseball related comments so please feel free to bail from this blog…
What took John Calipari so long to say yes to the University of Kentucky’s $31.65 million offer to become head coach of the school’s basketball team? Geesh! $32 mil at one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the country. What’s to think about?…
Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress is really scaring me now. He has made comments that he is satisfied with the current quarterbacks on the roster (primarily Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels). Fine, but calling Sage “a younger Gus Frerotte” is not a good thing! No offense to Gus, but c’mon…we need more than the next Gus Frerotte. The Vikings have shown no interest in Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, but of course, you never know if that’s truly because there is legitimately no interest or if it is simply posturing in the event of a trade so that the team doesn’t appear to be desperate. Now that the Broncos have indicated they will trade Cutler after an inability to communicate with him for 10 days, it will be interesting to see what transpires. I am not saying the Vikings need to pull the trigger, but they need to get in the game…
Have a happy April Fool’s Day, everyone!
The injuries have mounted for many teams this spring. We’re concerned about Joe Mauer in Minnesota (well, some of us more than others…LOL!) and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia. Justin Duchscherer of the A’s will start the season the DL after surgery on his elbow. There are too many injuries, both big and small, to count…
A review of current headlines show that the Braves’ Brian McCann is still hurting from getting hit in the ring finger by a foul pitch in yesterday’s loss to the Yankees…
…to Angels pitcher John Lackey’s stiff forearm.
We’ve seen Jason Johnson in Yankees camp be diagnosed with eye cancer in the Yankees camp, and of course both Damaso Marte and Robinson Cano came back from the WBC hurting.
But is the biggest injury in Yankees camp the hip surgery performed on A-Rod’s torn labrum earlier this month?
No, the most devastating injury in Yankees camp is…
…Derek Jeters’s pinkie!
Stop the presses!
Call the ambulance…quick! Emergency treatment is needed now!
Yankeeville hangs in the balance, awaiting news of DJ’s injured left pinkie…
Oh, he’ll play today against the Pirates?
Well, Nevermind!…as Roseanne Rosannadanna would say…
TEIXIERA AND THE YANKS
In an interview with WFAN, it appears that Mark Teixiera’s signing with the Yankees wasn’t so improbable after all. In words that are sure to infuriate both Angels and Red Sox fans, Tex clearly had the Yanks in his sights from the start.
It has been assumed that the Yankees came in with a late offer to swoop Tex away from the Red Sox. However, it appears that this was destined to happen from the start as the Yankees were apparently the only team that complied with Teixeira’s request to keep negotiations confidential.
As transcribed by Mike DiGiovanna in the Los Angeles Times:
“I always had the Yankees in my sights, and one thing my agent and I had asked every single team is, we’re not going to negotiate through the media, and we ask you not to. The Yankees were really the only team that did that. The other teams went out and told everybody their offers, told everybody that they talked to me, that they made this call, made that trip. The Yankees kept quiet. We talked all winter. When they were ready to make their final offer, it was a great offer, and my wife and I were excited about going to New York.”
Teixiera was asked about the recruiting visit made to his Texas home by the Red Sox in December, and he responded: “I think in the end, it probably worked against them a little bit, because everyone thought the Red Sox were my No. 1 choice,” Teixeira said. “… The Yankees had a leg up all along.”
Regardless of how it went down, I will be glad to see Tex standing at first base for Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16th.
The Yankees will dedicate a new memorial for the victims of 9/11 today at Steinbrenner Field. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center ruins was used to create the memorial which depicts the Twin Towers sitting on a Pentagon-shaped foundation. The memorial sits on grass in tribute to United Flight 93 which crashed in Somerset County, PA. It is a tremendous memorial that pays a great tribute to all those who lost their lives on that fateful day, and broke the heart of a nation.
Courtesy New York Yankees
According to many articles, it sounds as though the Yankees may opt to go with Jonathan Albaladejo in the bullpen, leaving long reliever candidates Brett Tomko, Alfredo Aceves, and Dan Giese on the outside looking in. It’s unfortunate for Tomko, who has had a terrific spring, but the odds were stacked against him from the start since he is not on the 40-man roster.
I had expected the Minnesota Twins to return Rule 5 draftee Jason Jones to the Yankees, but the teams opted to swap righthanders as the Yankees received 23-year-old Charles Nolte. I don’t know anything about Nolte, but he’s three years younger than Jones. He posted a 2.05 ERA in 44 Single A relief appearances last year, and had 75 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings.
With the attention that Ramiro Pena has drawn for his fielding prowess, is this the year that the Yankees start to experiment with Derek Jeter in an occasional start in other positions, like centerfield? Given that there are other long-term solutions for centerfield to go with Brett Gardner (like potentially Jeter and the much anticipated arrival of Austin Jackson later this year or in 2010), I wonder if Melky Cabrera will become a trading chip at some point. I am still not comfortable with the thought of Cody Ransom at third.
Where’s Mike Pagliarulo when you need him?
Speaking of Pena, it sounds as though he’s beaten out Angel Berroa for the infield utility spot. I definitely feel for Joe Girardi. He has some very difficult decisions in the coming days, and they are decisions that will dramatically shape the 2009 Yankees. No pressure…
Meanwhile, I am trying to decide whether I want an apple or an orange. Man, what a tough decision! 😉